The History of the Motorcycle Helmet – the Laws and the Facts

Posted: February 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Legal and Law | Comments Off on The History of the Motorcycle Helmet – the Laws and the Facts

The history of the motorcycle helmet, the laws and the facts are an interesting topic. There was no need for bikers to worry about motorcycle helmets when the first motorcycle was built in about 1885; this was because there was not much speed associated with this motorcycle. This would lead to the history of the motorcycle helmet-the laws and the facts.

A professor from the University of Southern California manufactured the first motorcycle helmet in 1953, because Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycles were on the path to creating the motorcycle for the riders that wanted speed. As the need for riding faster rose so did the fatality rate of motorcycle riders.

The government began to see a need for helmets and in 1958 California Highway Patrol Officers began wearing the first helmets in hopes of setting an example for motorcycle riders in California.

By the year 1966 the was the Highway Safety Act, which required states to have mandatory helmet laws in order to receive federal funding for highways. In the year 1975 there were 47 states that acted in accordance with with the Highway Safety Act to receive the highway funding for construction and maintenance. This same year Congress repealed the Highway Safety Act and the fatality rate began to rise again in states that also repealed the helmet laws.

This has not changed while states have flipped back and forth enforcing and doing away with helmet laws and motorcycles have become faster the statistics show that while motorcycles are only 2% of the registered vehicles on the roadways there is an 8% fatality rate when involved in a motorcycle accident.

There have been studies done and one that was done in 1990 and although this was quite some time ago the data has not changed except for the amount of registered riders and the amount of injuries and fatalities. The University of California did this study and this study showed that in 900 motorcycle accidents there was approximately 980 head and neck injuries. This study took into account not only the rider but passenger’s injuries and the study showed that these injuries were lessened with motorcyclists wearing helmets.

The history of the motorcycle helmet-the laws and the facts still apply today:

1. Fact: Head injuries are the leading cause of death for motorcycle riders involved in accidents.

2. Fact: Helmets are approximately 29% effective in preventing fatalities and head injuries.

3. Fact: A person who is not wearing a helmet is 40% more likely to be killed in an accident than the rider who is wearing a helmet.

4. Fact: A study done by Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System showed riders wearing helmets had a 70% chance of avoiding brain injuries. This study also showed riders not wearing helmets had a 3% chance of suffering worse injuries than riders wearing helmets.

5. Fact: An NHTSA study showed in 2003 that mile per mile the motorcyclist is 32 times more likely to be killed than the motorist in an auto.

Just these facts alone show a great difference in what a riders in accidents with and without helmets face. While helmet laws might not be enforced wearing a helmet does offer more protection when on the road for the rider and the passenger, it also makes a large difference between a fatality and brain injuries in an accident.

Riders enjoy the freedom that motorcycles give them, the air rushing by and the thrill and that can be as exciting with a helmet on as without one. This is especially true in beach areas like Culver City, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Santa Monica and Huntington Beach.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident there are California motorcycle accident attorneys to help. If you were injured from a spinal cord injury, brain injury, or had a loved one suffer a wrongful death on a motorcycle, some of the best law firms in CA are found in LA and are usually recognized as aggressive motorcycle injury lawyers in Los Angeles County, but they are often found in Orange County. Click here for a brand new site about the latest news, including news about California motorcycle accidents.


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